December 25, 2015 | The Rev. Dr. Scott Stoner
The Gift of VulnerabilityI wrote this Christmas reflection for the Living Compass Advent guide this year. The theme of this guide focuses on the importance of waiting and learning to practice patience with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind. I am happy to share this with our wider readership and wish you all a Merry Christmas!
"Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empath, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. It f want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path." Brené Brown
Today is the day we have been waiting for! It is Christmas and we celebrate the good news:
"Do not be afraid; for see-I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord" (Luke 2: 10-11).
The Word has become flesh. A Savior, the Messiah, has come to our world. And how has the Savior come into our world? As a person with great political power? As a person with great military power? No, the Savior has come into our world in the most vulnerable way possible, as a newborn child.
While the theme of these Advent reflections has been practicing patience, as I reread the reflections of our four guest writers, I realize that each writer, in his or her own way, was also writing about vulnerability. In order to practice patience we have to accept that we are not in control. We must be willing to be vulnerable.
Porter Taylor wrote in our Living Compass Advent guide about the vulnerability of lifting up our hearts, especially in the midst of the worries of this life, worries that can so easily weigh on our hearts. Nurya Parish wrote about our vulnerability when we realize that God acts in God's own time, and not in ours. Tom Purdy poignantly described the vulnerability he feels as a parent, and also about how vulnerable we must be to really practice patience. Our fourth guest writer, Steven Charleston, reminded us that trying to practice patience in the midst of profound change is a time of great vulnerability, as we discover once again how little we control in life.
The true gift of Christmas, the gift of the Word made flesh, is not like any other gift we will receive on Christmas. It is a gift that we open again and again throughout our lives, a gift that may not always be what we want, but is always what we need. The gift of the Word made flesh reminds us of our own vulnerability, of our total and radical dependence on God.
And now it is God's turn to wait, God's turn to be patient. God waits as we continue to mature in our understanding of what the Gift truly means for us, and how we are called to share this gift with the world.
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